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Iowa Officials: Escaped Prisoner Found Under Porch

PROLE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an escaped prisoner captured in central Iowa was found under a house porch.
    
The Polk County Sheriff's Office says 37-year-old Kenny Bevard was found Friday hiding under a residence in Prole, a small community just south of Des Moines.
    
Authorities say Bevard suffered minor injuries from resisting a K-9 used to bring him out. He was treated and taken to the Polk County Jail. Authorities say several charges are pending.
    
Another individual, 41-year-old Casey Joe Risius, was arrested and faces charges for allegedly aiding and abetting Bevard.
    
Authorities say Bevard was being driven Thursday to Adel in adjacent Dallas County for a court hearing. He escaped handcuffed from a Dallas County sheriff's vehicle.

Microsoft Expansion Announced In Iowa

Project Alluvion data center to locate in West Des Moines - MGN

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State and local officials announced that Microsoft will begin construction on a new data center in West Des Moines, increasing the company's investment in Iowa to nearly $2 billion and becoming the largest investment in the state to date.

Gov. Terry Branstad joined with local officials Friday to announce Microsoft's investment in so-called "Project Alluvion," which is expected to total more than $1.1 billion. A data center completed in 2010 resulted in about a $900 million investment from the company.

Branstad says Iowa's central location makes it an attractive location for Microsoft and other companies that have recently opened data centers.

Google opened a data center in Council Bluffs in 2009, and Facebook is building a data center in Altoona that should open early next year.

Iowa Democrats Consider Expanding Caucus Access

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Democrats are looking to expand access to Iowa's presidential caucuses to people who are typically unable to attend them. It's a tricky task with these local political meetings that thrive on in-person discussion.
    
Party leaders said Thursday it's not in response to criticism, but a way to expand access to grass-roots democracy.
    
Senior Iowa Democratic adviser Norm Sterzenbach said Thursday: "It's an important part of our party to see if there are ways to make it more accessible."
    
Caucuses are run by parties, and held at night, unlike primaries. Democrat Hillary Clinton said after the 2008 caucuses that they excluded night workers, among others. So far, suggestions include virtual participation and proxy voting.
    

Branstad Backs Extension Of Health Care Policies

Branstad Backs Extension Of Health Care Policies

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says Iowa has agreed to a federal recommendation that will allow thousands of residents to hang onto health insurance policies that don't meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Branstad and Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart announced Wednesday that the state would grant the extension of plans through 2016.

The action will let about 330,000 Iowans retain their health insurance policies. Most buy their own insurance or are covered by small employers.

Without the move, some of those policies could be cancelled.

Branstad says in a statement that the decision gives Iowans the flexibility to maintain current coverage or shop for new plans available to them.

Eighteen other states have allowed plan extensions as permitted by federal regulations.

Former Iowa Doctor Gets Jail Time After Sexual Exploitation Conviction

7 Days for Probation Violation - MGN

HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa doctor convicted of sexual exploitation has been given jail time for violating his probation.

Forty-one-year-old Brian Hansen was found in contempt of court on Monday in Franklin County District Court. He'd violated a probation provision that barred him from contacting victims or their families.

Hansen was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty in May 2013 to one count of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist. Prosecutors dropped seven other counts of sexual abuse and exploitation.

The state medical board suspended Hansen's license last year. The board said Hansen had engaged in sex with co-workers and patients and made numerous improper sexual comments.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.)

Multiple Pounds of Khat Seized

(ABC 6 News) – A Minnesota man is being held in Worth County Jail for possession of a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa.

The North Central Iowa Narcotics Task Force arrested 38-year-old Dayax Abdi Ahmed of Apple Valley for possession of Khat.  Authorities say users typically chew the drug to produce a euphoric and manic-like high, similar to amphetamine.

Ahmed allegedly had multiple pounds of Khat on him, estimated at a street value of $8,000.  He’s been charged with two felony counts:  possession of Khat with intent to deliver and failure to affix a drug stamp.

Plans Unveiled For Clear Lake Distribution Center

(ABC 6 News) -- It's a project shrouded in secrecy, but on Tuesday we learned more about a major warehouse facility coming to Clear Lake, Iowa.

Over the past few months, city officials have said very little about the project, only that it's being built by a Fortune 100 Company to serve as a regional distribution center.

But on Tuesday night, ABC 6 and city leaders got a sneak peak at exactly what the facility will look like.

At a special meeting of the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, commissioners approved the site plan for the roughly 340,000 square-foot facility.

The massive warehouse, which is being called "Project Windmill" as the city keeps the developer’s name secret, will occupy what is currently just an empty field.